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USAA or AAA: Which company is best for you?

USAA and AAA are two very popular options for insurance, but each company has its own unique features. Eligibility and availability set these companies apart from most other major insurance providers, meaning that some customers may not even be able to find a policy through USAA or AAA. Still, for those who are eligible, both companies have coverage options that satisfy the needs of many customers.

Take a look at our in-depth comparison to see which company comes out on top.

USAA car insurance

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5 Rating from The Zebra Question mark icon

USAA is one of the most popular options for car insurance in the United States. The company is unique in that customers must first become members of USAA in order to purchase a policy. Membership is exclusive to individuals in the armed forces and certain family members. In general, the company receives stellar ratings from customers and third-party rating agencies. USAA came out on top of The Zebra Customer Satisfaction Survey.

Pros Cons
  • Affordable rates
  • Great customer satisfaction scores
  • Other membership perks
  • Eligibility limited to those in the armed forces
Learn more

AAA car insurance

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3 Rating from The Zebra Question mark icon

Perhaps best known for its roadside assistance programs, AAA also offers car insurance to its members. In most cases, coverage is not provided by AAA themselves, but through partner companies. AAA simply acts as an intermediary, meaning that coverage options and experiences can be vastly different based on location. 

Pros Cons
  • Many bundling options
  • Additional membership benefits
  • Numerous discount opportunities
  • Lack of robust coverage options
  • Customer satisfaction scores are low
Learn more

Which company comes out on top?

USAA


While many customers may not be eligible for coverage through USAA, the company scores better than AAA across the board. Customer satisfaction ranks very high, and the number of other benefits sets USAA apart as the better option for eligible customers.


USAA vs. AAA: car insurance rate comparison

Affordability is an important consideration when shopping for an auto policy. Your rates are determined by many factors, including your driving history, state regulations and your credit score — at least in most states. 

To give you a better sense of how USAA and AAA rates stack up, we've gathered average rates based on a few different factors. Take a look at the figures below to get a sense of which company could be most affordable for you.

Cheapest average rates medal
Cheapest average rates

USAA has the cheapest rates at $106 per month. AAA comes in considerably higher at $151 per month.


USAA vs. AAA: pricing by credit score

For those with very poor credit, USAA could be preferable to USAA. Typically, USAA offers better rates than AAA for drivers with credit scores lower than 580. Insurance shoppers with exceptional credit — a score of 800 or better — should consider USAA, which typically beats AAA by $1,974 annually. Check out typical insurance rates by credit level for AAA and USAA below.

 
RATES BY CREDIT LEVEL: AAA VS. USAA
Credit level USAA avg. annual premium AAA avg. annual premium
Very Poor (300-579) $2,682 $6,569
Fair (580-669) $1,247 $4,023
Good (670-739) $1,057 $3,723
Very Good (740-799) $910 $3,004
Exceptional (800-850) $840 $2,814

Auto insurance data methodology

The auto insurance rates published in this guide are based on the results of The Zebra's State of Insurance car insurance pricing analysis. This analysis of more than 83 million insurance rates spans every U.S. ZIP code, using a sample user profile: a 30-year-old single male driver with a Honda Accord, good credit and full coverage at these levels:

  • $50,000 per person/$100,000 per incident for bodily injury liability
  • $50,000 per incident for property damage liability
  • $500 deductibles for collision and comprehensive coverage

To generate pricing for particular rating factors, we adjusted the driving profile based on common pricing factors used by major car insurance companies. These factors include credit score, coverage level, driving record and others.

In some instances, average rates from Liberty Mutual were derived from internally sourced sales data.

USAA vs. AAA: rates for high-risk drivers

If you're carrying an at-fault accident, speeding violation, reckless driving violation or DUI on your driving record, USAA could be a better choice than AAA. Every car insurance company will handle driving offenses differently, so don't be afraid to shop around and get quotes to find out which insurance company suits you.

 
RATES BY CITATION: AAA VS. USAA
Citation USAA avg. annual premium AAA avg. annual premium
At-fault accident (damage < $1,000) $1,304 $4,078
At-fault accident (damage > $1,000) $947 $4,002
DUI/DWI $1,952 $5,530
Reckless driving $1,472 $5,530
Speeding ticket $1,124 $4,078
 

USAA vs. AAA: rates by age

Insurance companies use age as an estimator of risk, pricing premiums accordingly. An auto insurance policy is typically most expensive for teen drivers — thanks to their inexperience — and more affordable for drivers aged 25 or older. Because every insurance company rates ages in a different way, it's smart to shop around and find the perfect policy for you.

In general, teen drivers should choose USAA over AAA: USAA offers average yearly savings of $7,392, compared to AAA.

 
RATES BY AGE: AAA VS. USAA
Age bracket USAA avg. annual premium AAA avg. annual premium
Teens $2,864 $10,256
20s $1,261 $4,644
30s $963 $4,644
40s $957 $3,195
50s $889 $3,083
60s $845 $2,887
 

Affordability aside, USAA and AAA each carry pros and cons, including their discount programs, add-ons, customer satisfaction ratings, and financial stability. Be sure to get quotes and compare rates before purchasing a policy.

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Ratings comparison: USAA vs. AAA

Both USAA and AAA are widely known companies, each with a long history of third-party ratings and customer satisfaction scores. Below you'll find the compiled results of many of these most recent ratings. Included are scores for financial strength, customer complaints, and overall customer satisfaction.

USAA VS. AAA
Ratings comparison USAA AAA
Financial strength (A.M. Best) Superior Superior
JD Power (claims satisfaction) Excellent Below average
JD Power (customer satisfaction) Excellent Average
NAIC rating Excellent Poor
The Zebra's editorial review score 5/5 3/5
The Zebra's Customer Satisfaction Survey 4.6 4.2

Which company scores best?

USAA


As one of the top-rated insurance companies in America, it's no surprise that USAA scores better than AAA in nearly every category.


The Zebra's Customer Satisfaction Survey

To get a better sense of how the overall customer experience, The Zebra conducted an independent survey taking a look at many different factors. Below you'll find the results for each company.

USAA logo
USAA

USAA topped the list as the best auto insurance carrier with an overall score of 4.6, winning in every category except online experience. Here are some other highlights:

  • Top-rated overall
  • Highly rated by both male and female respondents
  • Highly rated by drivers in all age groups
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AAA

Among the carriers on our survey, AAA ranked 13th (out of 15) with a score of 4.2. In general, the company placed near the bottom in almost every category.

  • Younger respondents had a more favorable view than older drivers
  • Best scores came in the trust category

The Zebra Customer Satisfaction Survey methodology

Findings are based on an online quantitative survey of 4,134 current U.S. auto and home insurance customers, with Census-balanced sampling by age, gender and region. Categories with n=<20 responses are considered insufficient sample size and are not reported. This survey was developed by The Zebra and executed by independent research firm Maru/Blue in 2021.


USAA vs. AAA: discount comparison

Discounts are a great way to bring down the costs of your car insurance. See how each company's available discount options stack up below.

USAA VS. AAA: DISCOUNT COMPARISON
Discount comparison USAA AAA
Good student
Multiple policies
Multiple vehicles
Anti-theft device(s)
Anti-lock brake system
Air bags
Good driver
Defensive driver
Student away at school
Driver training
Green vehicles
Affinity membership alum
Advanced purchase
Pay in full
Home owner
eSign or ePay
Telematics
New Vehicle
Annual Mileage
Military

Due to AAA's partnerships with other car insurance companies to provide policies, some of these discount options may not be available in some locations. Always ask about what discounts you are eligible for when shopping for your policy.


Telematics options: USAA vs. AAA

USAA and AAA both offer telematics programs that can help to measure your driving habits and calculate the level of risk you pose. Take a look at our rundown of available options from both carriers below. 

USAA logo
USAA SafePilot

SafePilot offers customers the chance to have their driving habits monitored in exchange for cheaper car insurance rates. A discount of 10% is offered just for signing up, with up to 30% savings possible for safe drivers at policy renewal.

AAA logo
AAA OnBoard

Depending on the state in which they reside, some customers may be able to sign up for OnBoard, AAA's telematics option. The company boasts savings of 15% at sign-up, with total savings of up to 30% possible for eligible drivers. However, there is no separate app at the time of writing, meaning that all participants must download the AAA mobile app.

Zebra Tip: Explore USAA for telematics offerings


USAA's SafePilot program gets good reviews overall, buoyed by the company's longstanding dedication to customer service. Furthermore, the company scored second place overall for best online experience in The Zebra Customer Satisfaction Survey, indicating good app and website experiences from users.


Roadside assistance: USAA vs. AAA

No one wants to be stuck on the side of the road. If you ever find yourself in that situation, you'll want a roadside assistance program that can get you back on the road quickly. Take a look at each company's roadside assistance options below.

USAA

USAA offers the following roadside assistance services to policyholders:

  • Towing
  • Flat tire changing
  • Fuel delivery
  • Jump-starts
  • Lock-out service
  • Stuck vehicle assistance

Another perk of USAA membership is that these services are also available at reduced rates to policyholders without roadside assistance on their policy.

 

AAA

Perhaps no other company is more closely associated with roadside assistance than AAA. For that reason, it's no surprise that the company has an expansive selection of options available to both members and policyholders. Below is a list of options available:

  • Jumpstarts
  • Towing
  • Fuel delivery
  • Vehicle lockout
  • flat tire service
  • Stuck vehicle services

AAA offers different levels of membership that apply to roadside assistance. Those in higher tiers are often reimbursed for larger amounts or eligible for towing for longer distances. The highest tier even offers trip interruption coverage.

tow truck

USAA vs. AAA: home insurance

Both USAA and AAA have popular home insurance options to accompany their auto coverage. Below, we take a look at how the two companies compare. 

USAA homeowners insurance review

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5 Rating from The Zebra Question mark icon

Similar to USAA's car insurance, customer eligibility is limited to those in the armed forces and their families. Still, the company's coverage remains highly rated and quite popular. Most customers will find the coverage suitable to their needs, with a good number of add-ons and discounts available.

USAA topped every category in homeowners portion of The Zebra Customer Satisfaction Survey, indicating a strong focus on the customer. 

  • The Zebra Customer Satisfaction Survey — 4.6/5: USAA topped every category of our homeowners customer satisfaction survey.
  • J.D. Power Rating — Among the Best: J.D. Power rates USAA above average in claims and customer service satisfaction.
  • Financial strength — Superior: A "Superior" financial strength rating by A.M. Best shows USAA's ability to pay out claims is solid.
  • NAIC Rating — Excellent: Regarding USAA, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) received relatively few customer complaints when compared to the market median.
Learn more

AAA homeowners review

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4 Rating from The Zebra Question mark icon

As with AAA's car insurance offering, the company partners with a number of affiliated insurers to provide homeowners coverage. These companies include CSAA and Auto Club Indemnity Company. Ratings of AAA's home insurance offering are a composite of these companies in an effort to give a broad idea of what customers can expect.

  • The Zebra Customer Satisfaction Survey — 4.2/5: AAA ranked 14th in the overall homeowners carrier category of The Zebra Customer Satisfaction Survey.
  • Customer Service (J.D. Power) — Below Average: The average J.D. Power ranking of CSAA and Auto Club of Southern California Insurance group comes in just shy of the average for customer satisfaction. 
  • Financial Strength (AM Best) — Excellent: With a financial rating of “excellent,” you can rest assured AAA will be able to handle your claims.
  • Claims Satisfaction (NAIC) — Fewer complaints than average: The average number of complaints across different branches of AAA homeowners insurance companies is fewer than average.
Learn more

Which company comes out on top?

USAA


USAA has a strong reputation for taking care of its customers. This, paired with affordable rates and a wide selection of coverage options, makes USAA a great choice for eligible customers.


USAA vs. AAA: home insurance rate comparison

USAA's average homeowners insurance rate is $127 per month. The average rates for AAA come in slightly cheaper at $108 per month. It's important to note that every company has its own underwriting methods, meaning that prices can vary one company to another. This is even true amongst AAA partner companies. 

Home insurance rates are comprised of both individual and environmental factors. This can include things such as your claims history, area crime and your proximity to fire fighting services. For this reason, it's important to shop around when looking for home insurance quotes.

Cheapest average rates
Cheapest average rates

AAA has cheaper rates than USAA on average, coming in at around $108 per month to USAA's average of $127 per month.

Homeowners insurance data methodology

The homeowners insurance rates published in this guide are based on The Zebra's analysis of the cost of home insurance in every U.S. ZIP code. These rates are based on a sample user profile: a 45-year-old married homeowner living in a 2,500-square-foot single-story home built in 2011 with these coverage levels:

  • $200,000 for the dwelling
  • $20,000 for other structures
  • $100,000 for personal property
  • $100,000 for personal liability
  • $1,000 deductible

To generate pricing for particular rating factors, we adjusted the homeowner profile based on common pricing factors used by major home insurance companies. These factors include location, coverage limits, claims record and others.


USAA vs. AAA: homeowners discount comparison

Discounts can be enticing to prospective insurance shoppers. See how the homeowners discount options from USAA and AAA compare below.

USAA VS. AAA: HOMEOWNERS DISCOUNT COMPARISON
Discount comparison USAA AAA
Claims free
Recent home buyer
Multi-policy
Early signing
Newer/more durable roof
Protective devices (smoke/burglar alarms, etc.)
Paid in full
Early signing
Auto pay
Newer home
Renovated home
Senior citizen

Zebra tip: Check out AAA is you are seeking home insurance discounts


AAA offers more discounts than USAA for qualifying customers, but keep in mind this doesn't necessarily mean that they'll be cheaper for everyone.


Other insurance products and bundling options

USAA and AAA both offer multiple lines of insurance that can be bundled together. This can streamline your insurance policies and also lead to potential savings. Along with auto and home, customers may be able to add life, pet, or even small business coverage from USAA and AAA. Take a look at the additional coverage types available from each company below.

USAA VS. AAA: OTHER INSURANCE PRODUCTS
Other products USAA AAA
Boat insurance
Condo insurance
Life insurance
Homeowners insurance
Renters insurance
RV insurance
Motorcycle insurance
Mobile home insurance
Umbrella
Offroad vehicles and ATVs
Classic car
Small business
Farm and ranch
Pet

Find the best insurance policy for your needs.

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RECENT QUESTIONS

Am I covered for an accident if my policy had lapsed while without an Uber passenger?

Unfortunately, if there was no coverage in place, no company will honor the claim. Uber coverage is in place while the app is active, though this only covers liability.
Jul 2, 2020 Lincoln Park, MI

Can my brother use his insurance for damage he caused to my vehicle?

Unfortunately, car insurance follows the vehicle, not the driver. In this case, he cannot use his own insurance to cover the damage he caused to your vehicle.
Jan 6, 2019 Willingboro, NJ

Our son-in-law is a USAA member (Navy). Can we join also?

Parents are not eligible for USAA. USAA eligibility flows &quot;downstream&quot; — so descendants, i.e.
Sep 8, 2019 Greenville, CA

Agree to be paid out of pocket with driver with no license

To sum, having her pay out of pocket might be your best option. Let me explain.
Aug 9, 2018 Los Angeles, CA

About The Zebra

The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.

  • The Zebra’s insurance content is written and reviewed for accuracy by licensed insurance agents.
  • The Zebra’s insurance content is not subject to review or alteration by insurance companies or partners.
  • The Zebra’s editorial team operates independently of the company’s partnerships and commercialization interests, publishing unbiased information for consumer benefit.
  • The auto insurance rates published on The Zebra’s pages are based on a comprehensive analysis of car insurance pricing data, evaluating more than 83 million insurance rates from across the United States.